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Abstract: Tinker Hatfield

Besides wanting Tinker to be my cool uncle, I was very surprised about the amount of emotion and thought that was put into shoe design. I had always known sneaker culture was huge but never found good justification. Tinker was amazing in so many ways but it is extremely interesting to see the amount of his life he devoted to footwear because for him shoes are his art, not just accessories. It struck me when he was discussing the Air Jordan 15's how shoes became his language of expression as an ex-athlete and compassionate artist. That moment also showed that an artist's life will inexplicably be reflected in their work, whether intended or not.

I also loved his idea of pushing the boundaries in all of his projects. Michael Jordan even mentioned that sometimes he would go so far beyond the limits that Jordan would have to lasso him back in. It was astounding to see how many famous shoes he had designed and to see that he was basically the backbone of Nike. I would have never known that it was one man behind all these shoes. But I think this episode also helped change my perspective about shoes; not just the emotion and art, but how groundbreaking they were. When I look at a pair of Air Maxes the thought never really crossed my mind that they were revolutionary. Now understanding his thought process, I see that he essentially “deconstructed” and shoe for the first time and even found inspiration in architecture!

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